The folk in the picture above are two of the younger attendees at the Children's Literature Association of India meeting at which I spoke in Kerala earlier this week. They symbolize for me the potential magic of the Asian literary community.
Publishing in much of the modern world is hard work -- small margins, high costs, and a declining audience size, thanks to the Internet, video games etc.
But in Asia, things are different.
(a) Penetration of computers and the Internet is relatively small compared to elsewhere
(b) Reading is widespread and parents and teachers encourage it very enthusiastically
(c) Gameboys and Playstations are still relatively rare
(d) The standard of English is high
(e) The cost of publishing is very low
(f) The creativity level is high
(g) The quality of editing, artwork and so on is climbing steadily
(h) The market is huge -- 100s of millions
Of course, there are challenges, such as distribution and pricing issues. But my discussions with book industry people in India show that these things can be overcome successfully. I'm going to do some further studying into this area, and will be happy to share my results with readers.